Soyinka blames collapse of cultural values on dictatorship

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BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME

PORT HARCOURT—Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Monday, linked the collapse of cultural values in the country to the emergence of political dictatorship.

Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at a colloquium for this year’s Rivers State carnival, CANIRIV, Soyinka charged artists and intellectuals to do more to sustain the country’s cultural values.

He said any culture not thoroughly protected could be corrupted by a weak political system, adding that this could result to dictatorship.

He said: “Are there any lessons from all these? Before the advent of General Sani Abacha, many Nigerians were fond of saying ‘no it can never happen in Nigeria, the glorification of a human being, Nigeria has gone far beyond that, too critical to allow it.’ I am afraid we did witness an example of this.

“It just shows that one can never be too careful. One can never be too watchful because sooner or later, what begins as a small power issue becomes a grand, immovable, supreme entity through the collaboration of artists and intellectuals because it is they, who create the spectacles that glorify the individual rather than enhance the condition of the commune.”

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